Annotation for: “The little story of… COVID-19 vaccine race”

Marika Forsythe, MD
Viral Feedback
Published in
2 min readNov 12, 2022

In response to the quote stated below (from https://medium.com/@yanisferaoun/the-little-story-of-covid-19-vaccine-race-d2b3d2444193):

In response to the global health emergency to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, unprecedented collaborative efforts between laboratories, as well as very significant financial efforts, have been deployed in order to accelerate the development and evaluation candidate vaccines.”

The takeaway: Significant financial and collaborative efforts between laboratories were required to accelerate the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

The claim: To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, significant financial and collaborative efforts between laboratories were carried out in order to accelerate the development and evaluation of candidate vaccines.

The evidence: While the development of new vaccines generally takes up to 10–15 years, the research data from previous vaccine studies on other coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS, helped to speed up the initial development of the current COVID-19 vaccines (1). Considerable funds also had to be amassed to meet the accelerated time scale, obtained from the government to the private sector. In the United States, Operation Warp Speed (OWS) partnered with multiple institutions to develop, manufacture, and deliver 300 million doses by early 2021. This was possible due to OWS taking on the financial risk, allowing the companies to produce and accumulate the vaccine doses even before it was known if the vaccines would work (2). In Europe, the European Commission also funded many vaccine candidates in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 (3).

Sources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/how-they-work.html
  2. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(21)00140-6/fulltext
  3. https://research-and-innovation.ec.europa.eu/research-area/health/coronavirus/eu-funding_en

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